Ozarks First reports that they are confronted with a potential extinction after the International Union for Conservation of Nature moved them into the red list of animals to protect.
About the Union’s “Red List”
The “red list” was established by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It includes over 85,000 species, and they track more than 160,000 each year to determine if they must be placed on the endangered watch list. Even if a species is not threatened, the Union monitors them.
The list has categories that include vulnerable, threatened, endangered, critically endangered, and extinct, reports News Everyday.
They have now removed giraffe from their least concerned group to the vulnerable category. This is due to a dramatic decline in the giraffe population around the world. While they had estimated 150,000 in 1985, they are now totaling just a little under 100,000 for 2016. Therefore, the dramatic decline has researchers at the union expecting that they will soon become extinct unless they see a number.
Why are Giraffes Becoming Endangered?
The biggest cause of the decline is the same as it has been for other endangered species: human expansion. Also, illegal hunting of them is partly to blame, as well as their loss of habitats due to the expanding mining and agricultural industries. Of the nine sub-species of giraffes, there have been five that received a dramatic decline in their numbers over the past few years.
Giraffes are threatened in their native Africa because of the rising human population in the country. A report released by the United Nations in 2015 stated that more than half of the population on the globe would increase and it is expected to happen in Africa. This increase will impact the giraffe population even more.
There is Still Hope
While the news sound depressing, there is still hope for giraffes. However, people need to be aware of the areas that they are taking over and avoid those that are natural habitats for this type of animal as well as the other species that are endangered. Also, there need to be vast areas for these animals to graze; and no more leaving them with small, bottle-necked areas.
Animals Go Missing Without Notice
The primary reason the union is around is to ensure that animals do not go missing without it being noticed. There are large species around the world that are extinct, but the public rarely knows about it. In fact, news stories about extinct animals never make headlines and rarely make the big news networks; therefore, no one knows the actual impact of their actions on the population of particular species.
Saving giraffes will not be easy, and no one expected their numbers to drop so significantly; therefore, researchers and environmental teams are looking for ways to preserve them before it is too late.